Too often with relationships of any type we are too concerned about what we are getting out of it. Seeking to gain something out of a relationship prevents us from having a deep relationship in the first place. It is simply wrong to expect to profit from something. The entire point of a relationship is to, well, relate to a person. That is, get to know them and spend time with them. It isn’t a relationship when all you do is seek gain. It is manipulation. It is a business transaction.
True relationships only seek to know each other. They don’t seek to materially or emotionally gain from each other. Of course, both will materially and emotionally benefit if the relationship is good. However, in a good relationship each individual doesn’t seek for themselves. It is only narrow self-interest.
Relationships need to be grounded in compassion in order to blossom. You need to learn how to be with a person in the present moment without worrying about what to say, what to do, what to gain, and other future concerns. We cannot be thinking about the future and still be in the present.
People are not vending machines. We shouldn’t expect to get anything in return when we develop a friendship with someone. Expectations can poison a friendship. Rather we enter a relationship with someone because we share interests, views, and joy. It is perfectly fine to just sit together and chat about nothing or watch a movie. Ironically, the more you seek something the more elusive it becomes.
The best way to gain from a relationship is to give. Don’t seek to gain and you will receive. Entering a relationship with anyone for your own benefit is exploitative. It is not a relationship. It is far better to seek nothing for yourself and treat the other with compassion. Compassion is the only firm foundation relationships can be built upon.